Good News Ministries and
the Missionary Society of
St. Paul the Apostle
Why is Good News Ministries involved with Paulists?
Good News Ministries and the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle are such a perfect match that GNM founders Ralph and Terry Modica have undergone Paulist formation, become Paulist Associates (the “third order” of the Paulist Fathers), and formed a community of Paulist Associates in Florida.
Good News Ministries collaborates with Paulists because we both have the same goals: We work constantly to meet the contemporary culture on its own terms to present the Gospel message in ways that are compelling but not diluted, constantly seeking new ways to spread the Gospel and respond to the deep spiritual longings of the today’s people to help them find fulfillment in Jesus Christ through the inner divine guidance of the Holy Spirit and the teachings, sacraments, worship, and discipline of the Catholic Church.
What are Paulist Associates?
Paulist Associates are people who are already involved in ministries and, feeling a kinship to the Paulist Fathers (similiar to a “third order”), choose to join the Paulist Family.
In the spirit of the Paulist Fathers, Paulist Associates assist in the mission of Christ using the gifts God has given us, in the places where we already live and work, in our everyday lives. And we gather monthly as a community to support and encourage one another and to discuss the writings of the founder, Father Isaac Hecker.
The Paulist Fathers are a North American order founded in 1858 by Servant of God Isaac Hecker, whose cause for Canonization was recently accepted by Rome.
Does this resonate with you?
You are invited to join the Paulist Associates of Florida!
Founder of the Paulists
The founder, Fr. Isaac Hecker, was a spiritual seeker, a wandering soul. He lived for a time in Transcendentalist utopian communities where he consulted the leading thinkers of his day. Once he found the truth in the Catholic Church, he gave his whole life to it. His only desire was to proclaim the truth to others so that they too could find their true selves as North American Catholics. His motto, as seen on his holy card, is:
“In the union of Catholic faith and American civilization…
A future for the Church brighter than any past.”
~ Father Isaac Hecker
Why do some people condemn the Paulist Fathers?
Misunderstandings exist, sometimes based on an historical piece of information, but more often based on misinterpretations caused by lack of research.
Paulist Press: One unresearched bit of misinformation is that Paulist Press publishes heretical books. If this false criticism were true, we at Good News Ministries would have used their books that are in keeping with the teachings of the Church Magisterium (we have in fact learned from their materials on Catholic evangelization) while rejecting the others. However, they publish nothing that the Vatican disapproves of. Those who condemn Paulist Press should just look at a catalog. See it for yourself at http://paulistpress.com/.
Busted Halo: The young adult evangelization outreach ministry, bustedhalo.com gets a low rating for “fidelity” by some people. However, this website was not created to confirm the faith of young adults who are already good Catholic believers. Rather, it’s a touch point for people who are on the edge of belief and are disconnected from the institutional Church. It evangelizes them in a way that draws them in. The site is a place for open discussion in order to reach them where they are in their spiritual journeys, like St. Paul who said, “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews…. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).
Liberalism: Paulists are often said to be liberals theologically. They in fact do call themselves liberal, but not in the obvious sense. For example, when the Paulists were founded in the U.S. in the mid-1800s, the Roman Catholic Church had a very long history of church and state being married to each other. The Paulists believed that the Church would thrive better in an environment where the Church and state are separated. This is the liberalism that earned them some persecution 150 years ago.
Paulists are also liberal in their view of how widely the Holy Spirit acts and works in American society. For example, the Paulists often preach about what’s right and good and Godly in the entertainment industry. Too often, Catholics (and other Christians), focus on condemning what’s sinful in the entertainment industry. While there certainly is a lot wrong with it (and the Paulists agree with that fact), it is refreshing to focus on how the Holy Spirit has been doing a lot of good in even secular movies and television shows.
Americanism: Pope Leo XIII condemned “Americanism” in an Apostolic Letter, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, in 1899, as some believed that the Paulists were chief proponents of this heresy. The Paulist Fathers in fact agreed with the Holy Father: The Church should not be influenced by the local culture but should instead be influencing the culture. The mission of converting the American culture was and still is the primary purpose of the Paulists’ ministry.
In Good News Ministries, we are very pleased that the Holy Spirit has led us to a collaborative association with the Paulist Fathers! Even if we’re misjudged and persecuted for it. Saint Paul endured the same misjudgments.